YWCA Canton celebrates 30th class of Women’s Hall of Fame

Posted on September 07, 2023

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YWCA Canton will celebrate four inductees to its Women’s Hall of Fame at the 30th annual event taking place on Sept. 30 at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

At the celebration, two additional members will be recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award for their exceptional leadership in the community. 

Since 1990, the YWCA has recognized and honored 180 outstanding Stark County women of all ages, including high school students, through its Women’s Hall of Fame.

Throughout the history of this event, each inductee has made significant contributions to the community, and the accomplished women have demonstrated resilience and determination in overcoming barriers and challenges — leaving a legacy that will inspire and impact future generations. 

The class of 2023 inductees include Jennifer Meek Eells, Sister Karen Lindenberger, Patricia Hopkins Williams and Lauren Winland. The YWCA’s Hall of Fame selection committee, composed of accomplished individuals with expertise in various fields, carefully hand selected these women based on their remarkable achievements and dedication to the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.

In honor of the YWCA Hall of Fame’s 30th anniversary, two members are being presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award: Janet Weir Creighton from the class of 2007 and Diane Stevens Robinson from the class of 1993. These recipients were identified by the committee as the two most deserving past inductees who embody the values and mission of YWCA Canton and demonstrate deep dedication to Stark County.

Creighton holds 35 years of elected experience where she has cultivated a diverse background in government and public affairs. She has served as a Stark County commissioner since 2010, and her significant contribution to Canton and Stark County is evident through her dedicated work.

“Janet’s leadership, dedication to public service and commitment to empowering women through mentorship initiatives like Women's Impact exemplify her outstanding achievements and make her an exceptional recipient of this recognition,” said Dr. Shana Smith, CEO of YWCA Canton.

Robinson has been a community activist for many years and her service on a local, state and national level is extensive. As the immediate past president and CEO of the Greater Stark County Urban League, her career has centered around human resources, community engagement and diversity management.

“Diane is highly deserving of this award for her exceptional leadership, extensive volunteer service and notable accomplishments at the Greater Stark County Urban League and as the founder of DSR & Associates Consulting,” said Smith. 

The Hall of Fame event brings the community together to celebrate the significant contributions of women and fundraises to support YWCA’s services, including the operation of Stark County’s largest homeless shelter for women and children, Early Head Start and preschool services and permanent supportive housing programs that connect eligible households with housing solutions.

The event will also feature Dr. Rosemarie Allen, president and CEO of the Institute for Racial Equity & Excellence, as the keynote speaker. As a leader in early childhood education for nearly 40 years, Allen’s work is centered on ensuring children have access to high quality early childhood programs that are developmentally and culturally appropriate. 

Learn more about the ticketed event at www.ywcacanton.org/events/whof2023.

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